My Way Of Thinking - Mark Carwardine
BBC Wildlife|Spring 2021
The conservationist discusses Jair Bolsonaro’s actions concerning the Amazon rainforest and invites your thoughts on the subject.
Mark Carwardine

It’s shocking to realise that, no matter how many campaigns are fought, treaties signed or protected areas established, the future of life on Earth rests, to a large extent, with a handful of irresponsible, irrational and ignorant individuals.

Environmental decisions that are critical to the entire planet are made on a whim. Donald Trump did it for climate change (just for starters) and now Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is doing it for the Amazon rainforest.

The Amazon is home to the largest rainforest on Earth. Covering 40 per cent of the South American continent, it spans no fewer than eight countries (nine, if you include French Guiana, a department of France). The most species-rich biome on Earth – with one in ten of all known species – it’s also a critical carbon storehouse.

Yet this life-support machine has been plundered and destroyed for decades. Clearing to make room for cattle and crops, logging for timber and paper, mining, dam construction, road building and urban expansion are all to blame.

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